Archive for Ethics

Czechs Feel Betrayed By The Palestinian Terrorists

Disappointing, isn’t it?

Czech officials in the Suchdol district of Prague, where the Palestinian embassy stands, has requested the embassy move to another location on Friday, AFP reported. Officials say they feel betrayed by the findings inside the embassy following the death of the Palestinian ambassador Jamal al-Jamal on Jan 1 in his home in Prague.

“We asked the Czech foreign ministry for the embassy to be moved out of our district,” Petr Hejl, senior councilor of Prague’s Suchdol district told AFP.

Related:
Weapons found at Palestinian mission in Prague
“The district feels betrayed by the behavior of diplomats who kept weapons and explosives at the embassy, violating Czech and international law,” he added.

“We understand the fears of Suchdol residents,” Czech foreign ministry spokeswoman Johana Gohova told AFP Friday. The ministry would “look into it,” she added.

Earlier in the week, Prague police chief Martin Vondrasek told Czech Radio that investigators had found weapons at the mission that were not registered with local authorities. He did not reveal the quantity and type.

The Czech foreign ministry said it was concerned by the discovery. It said diplomats’ weapons were subject to local laws on arms, which require registration and licensing.

“The ministry is concerned that among evidence… were weapons not registered in the Czech Republic,” the ministry said in a statement.

“In such case, the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations may have been breached and we will demand an explanation,” it added, referring to the international rules that govern the activities of diplomats and embassies.

They aren’t very nice, are they? Imagine if a crowded coffee shot in the Czech Republic mysteriously exploded? Or a bus? That would be quite the bummer. But that is the kind of stuff that Israeli put up with in a big way for a number of years, while our government, our State Department, and the EU urged that they “show restraint”. So maybe you should let them keep their weapons, kiss and make-up?

- Aggie

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What Do You Say, Dear?

A hostile entity sworn to your destruction persists in shelling you with ever more—and ever more powerful—rockets and missiles.

The doctrine of proportionality does not require some sort of a balance between Israel and Hamas dead, or some equivalence between the deeds of Hamas and those of the Israel government.

Rather, in the context of international humanitarian law, there must be proportionality between what the Israel government actually does and what is reasonably required to prevent the firing of Hamas rockets at Israel civilians and soldiers.

Specifically, if the Israel government would be reasonably able to prevent the firing of those Hamas rockets via measures that fall well short of using nuclear weapons to obliterate Gaza, then the Israel government is legally obliged to use those less drastic means that are likely to be kinder to the civilians in Gaza.

However, international law certainly does not require the Israel government to sit back and accept the firing of rockets at Israel civilians and soldiers, just because measures to prevent that firing would likely result in some collateral civilian injury and death in Gaza. And here the reasoning is obvious: The Israel government has to choose between (A) some Israel deaths (civilian and military) resulting from Hamas missiles hitting Israel; and (B) some Hamas deaths (civilian and military) from Israel preventive measures. In this context, the Israel government has to opt for (B) to prevent (A). Any other decision would irrationally privilege the lives of Muslim Arabs in Gaza over those of civilians and soldiers in Israel.

And here the ancient rabbis would probably have agreed, because morally it is better for the wicked to die than for the innocent to perish.

As the legal scholars would say, duh!

But I’m still troubled. If Israel is the victim of these random and immoral attacks, why shouldn’t it employ any method it sees fit to protect its innocent civilians? Because the innocent of Gaza will die?

At least the author calls into question the very idea:

The civilian adult population of Gaza is probably directly or indirectly to some degree morally complicit in the willful aggression of Hamas, which the Muslim Arabs of Gaza clearly supported in the 2006 Palestinian elections, and which they probably continue to back even today. For example, pollsters tell us that Gaza’s adult population specifically endorses the notion that rockets be targeted at Israel civilians, which is a flagrant war crime.

A population elected to power a political party dedicated to the annihilation of a neighboring state. Furthermore, that population has served at the very least as a cover for the attacks (willfully or not), and often as an abetter of them.

And we’re talking about the morals of the victim?

I am aware of no formula that calculates how many innocent victims of terror must die before one “innocent” on the side of terrorism may be put at risk. Given the duration of the conflict so far, given the failures of negotiation and withdrawal, given the eliminationist language of Ham’ass’ founding charter—not least its racism and Jew-vilification distilled from Nazism—why shouldn’t the use of “nuclear weapons to obliterate Gaza” be considered? The USA dropped two on Japan and stopped the war on a dime. The unimaginable destruction and unspeakable horror were different only in degree from what had preceded Fat Man and Little Boy, and from what would have followed. Those two body blows, as horrific as they were to endure and disturbing as they are to recall, put an end to Imperial Japan. With American help, Japan recovered and rebuilt to become the economic powerhouse and peaceful nation it is today. (Even after a decade-plus long slump, Japan has the 3rd largest GDP, after America and China.)

Let me fire the first Qassam in the discussion. The green and pleasant land of Gaza comprises 141 square miles of prime Mediterranean beachfront property. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima destroyed 4.7 square miles of the city. You do the math. If Israel had nuclear weapons, it would need 30 of them to “obliterate” Gaza. But that hardly seems necessary. If mighty Japan fell after two mushroom clouds, surely one glowing shitake would do the trick in Gaza. Especially if it were strategically placed over Ham’ass HQ.

I’m a monster? I should be ashamed of myself for making light of nuclear annihilation?

I didn’t bring it up, some moralist did. I’m just pursuing the argument. And I’ve never bombed anyone (save rigging a paper cup of water above an ajar door). But the issue becomes a little more personal and less theoretical when it’s your kids on the line. The only thing that separates Ham’ass from Adam Lanza, the butcher of Newtown, is aim and proximity. Both fired on schoolchildren, both had the same intent. What would you have done to stop Lanza? What would you forbid Israel to stop Ham’ass?

The floor is yours.


Thank you.

Oh yeah, Happy Holidays!

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WMDs In The Hands Of Jihadis?

Israel is concerned about chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria

Israel will weigh military action if it suspects Syria’s chemical weapons might fall into the hands of terrorist organizations, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.

“We will do everything that is needed” to ensure Syria’s WMD stockpiles are not transferred, Netanyahu said at a meeting with EU ambassadors stationed in Israel.

Netanyahu told the European envoys that Hezbollah fighters were taking an active role in the slaughter taking place in Syria, and that Syrian President Bashar Assad would not have survived this long without Iran’s intervention.

The EU has been steadfast in its refusal to place Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organizations.

Can you imagine four more years of lame, Obama policies in the Middle East?

Netanyahu also spoke about the need for Egypt to maintain the peace treaty signed in the 1970s (or Israel will not be able to trust future treaties with Egypt), the desire to rebuild ties with Turkey, the Palestinian failure to negotiate at all during the past four years. All very reasonable. And that leads me to this question: How is it that a tiny country like Israel can have a competent leader, and the US, with over 300 million citizens, cannot?

- Aggie

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House Sets Contempt Vote On Holder

Next week

Not good for the Obama campaign. Is there still room under the bus?

CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It’s the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.

This time, the dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” investigation.

The Justice Department has maintained it has cooperated fully with the congressional investigation, turning over tens of thousands of documents and having Holder testify to Congress on the topic at least eight times.

However, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says the Justice Department has refused to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents. Those include materials created after Feb. 4, 2011, when the Justice Department wrote a letter to Congress saying no gunwalking had occurred. The Justice Department later retracted the denial.

- Aggie

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A Question

As Israel prepares to release the most violent and vile Jew-haters among its prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, what will this mean for Shalit as he lives the rest of his life?

He has done nothing wrong, and has suffered horribly for his country, but as we work our way through the potentialities of such a prisoner exchange, how will he feel if the worst happens and one of the Hamass maggots kills again? How will his parents feel? I don’t have the wisdom to know.

He did not volunteer for service; all Israelis are required to serve. His personal wishes are not known. But as welcome as freedom surely is, who among us could feel unalloyed joy that our freedom was bought with the blood of others, past and likely future? How will Shalit’s parent be able to look in the eyes of parents of others who may be killed by one or more of these proven Arab killers?

I guess that’s more than one question, but it all boils down to one moral enquiry.

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The Brilliant Young President Offers His Unclenched Fist To Iran

BTL already commented on this, but I just wanted to point out that appeasement doesn’t work. Hear that, Moonbats? Appeasement invites aggression.

The media reports I’ve heard suggest that Iran was planning restaurant bombs. We too could have experienced what it is like to live with truly crazy neighbors blowing themselves up. Crisis averted this time.

I wonder what Obama will say about it? I wonder if the Kidz protesting Wall Street will notice?

- Aggie

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Freedom of Information Act

I count three lies in that title alone: no freedom, no information, and no act.

President Obama’s administration has improved in its responsiveness to Freedom of Information requests, but still has a ways to ago, according to a new report on the issue.

Of 90 federal agencies equipped to process requests made under the Freedom of Information Act, slightly more than half have taken at least some steps to fulfill Obama’s goal to improve government transparency, according to the study by the National Security Archive at George Washington University and the Knight Foundation.

Though 49 agencies and departments complied with the study’s authors, 17 others – including the Transportation Department and U.S. Postal Service – provided no documents and two withheld information. Another 17 agencies – including the departments of Commerce, Energy, Justice and State – provided no final response, and four smaller agencies never acknowledged receipt of the FOIA request. The figures have improved significantly from last year, when just 13 of 90 agencies complied.

“At this rate, it’ll be the end of his term before the agencies do what Obama asked them to do on the first day,” said Thomas S. Blanton, director of the National Security Archive.

Still, it sounded pretty at the time:

“The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears,” Obama said in the FOIA memo, adding later that “In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public.”

[T]he Obama Administration “will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” The order directs the yet-to-be-named chief technology officer to work with the OMB director to develop an “Open Government Directive” in the next four months.

That was then.

This is now:

Why would the Obama administration who boasted open and transparent discussions of such a sensitive subject as healthcare close the door to the opportunity to present its factual case to the American people? Messaging anyone? Nope.

Complying with the records request from the House Energy and Commerce Committee “would constitute a vast and expensive undertaking” and could “implicate longstanding executive branch confidentiality interests,” White House lawyer Robert Bauer wrote the committee.

Since when did this regime shy away from anything “vast and expensive”? They’re drawn to vastness and expense like moths to a flame.

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Desperate Dems

If you can’t win on the issues, go negative.

In our post-partisan world, the dems are flipping out and doing what they do best – ripping their opponents apart and eating the entrails.

Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their Congressional majority.

Opposition research and attack advertising are used in almost every election, but these biting ads are coming far earlier than ever before, according to party strategists. The campaign has intensified in the last two weeks as early voting begins in several states and as vulnerable incumbents try to fight off an onslaught of influences by outside groups.

As they struggle to break through with economic messages, many Democrats are deploying the fruits of a yearlong investigation into the business and personal histories of Republican candidates in an effort to plant doubts about them and avoid having races become a national referendum on the performance of President Obama and his party.

Guess what? People don’t care if Christine O’Donnell flirted with witchcraft in high school because they have bigger things to worry about – like paying the bills. They don’t have jobs, guys. There isn’t much else to discuss.

Mild mannered Republicans reply:

“Our strongest piece of opposition research on Democrats is their voting records,” said Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “While character assassination seems to be the strategy for Democrats this year, the American people are supporting Republican candidates because they are providing an alternative.”

Polite and factual.

If the American public is dumb enough to fall for these clowns after they provoked the financial meltdown in the real estate sector that led to the crash, and then wasted billions… or is it trillions… of tax payer money on goofy PC programs that failed, then the American public deserves more of the same.

Elections have consequences.

- Aggie

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Did You Know???

That there’s corruption—and it’s Democratic?

There’s a 900-pound elephant in the room in Washington named Corruption. The media don’t seem to have noticed it’s there — because the pachyderm is actually a donkey.

When Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., was exposed in the fall of 2006 sending sleazy text messages to male teenage congressional pages, the establishment press made sure it cast a heavy shadow on the entire Republican establishment. Again and again it was noted that then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert and other congressional GOP leaders obviously knew about Foley but did little or nothing.

Where are they now that Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., is undone after unwelcome sexual advances toward a junior male staffer? House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., admits to knowing of the allegations, so where are the headlines like those in 2006 warning that this and other scandals could doom Democrats this November?

And make no mistake, there are plenty of other Democratic scandals.

• President Obama’s shady nomination on Wednesday of the brother of Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, a swing vote on health reform, to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

• The forced — but only temporary — and long overdue suspension of Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., from his powerful perch as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee many months after it became known that he failed to pay 20 years of back taxes on a Caribbean villa, on top of tax issues related to four rent-controlled apartments in Harlem used by his campaign, plus other newly revealed House rules violations.

• The “Louisiana Purchase” of $300 million in exclusive Medicaid funds for Louisiana to buy the support of a swing voter, Sen. Mary Landrieu, for health reform.

• The similar “Cornhusker Kickback” of $100 million in exclusive Medicaid funding for Nebraska to secure the vote of Sen. Ben Nelson for ObamaCare.

• President Obama’s “Union Carve-Out” to shield his Big Labor supporters from health reform’s tax on more-expensive so-called Cadillac health plans.

• The failure of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner since 2001 to pay nearly $40,000 in his Social Security and Medicare taxes because he worked for the International Monetary Fund, which conveniently didn’t withhold those taxes as U.S. firms do.

• The Democrats’ massive stimulus bill last year, practically written by the party’s supporters in Big Labor, with construction projects forced to use union members and pay union wages — in spite of the fact that nonunion workers make up close to 85% of the country’s construction work force.

That’s just the national scene. New York State alone deserves its own chapter in this sordid tale. And Massachusetts? OMG, the last three Speakers of the House have resigned, sealed, and been delivered to jail (metaphorically speaking).

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Don’t You Wish We Could Be More Like Austria?

They are so sophisticated and I just love the food and beer.

Ex-Nazi guard freed on technicality in Austrian court
By (Reuters)

A former Nazi concentration camp guard who was deported from the United States on Thursday is now a free man because he cannot be prosecuted in Austria, the Austrian justice ministry said on Friday.

Josias Kumpf, who by his own admission, aided in the killing of 8,000 Jews the Trawniki labor camp in Nazi occupied Poland in 1943 , arrived in Austria on Thursday after the United States deported him following the revocation of his citizenship.

Austrian justice ministry spokeswoman Katharina Swoboda said Vienna had warned U.S. authorities in the past that Austria would be unable to prosecute Kumpf because the statute of limitations relating to his crimes had expired.

“We have always pointed out to the United States that he cannot be charged here with the crimes of which he is accused,” Swoboda said.

The main reason was that Kumpf was younger than 20 at the time of the crimes.

The fact Kumpf had never been an Austrian citizen, and that the crimes which he is accused of were not committed in Austria, also made prosecution in Austria impossible, she said.

Kumpf was born in the part of Yugoslavia that is now Serbia, as a member of the ethnic German minority there. After joining the SS as a guard in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany, he moved on to Trawniki in German-occupied Poland.

The U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday that Kumpf helped guard around 8,000 Jewish prisoners — including some 400 children — who were shot and killed in pits at Trawniki in a special operation in November 1943.

The department cited Kumpf as saying his assignment was to watch for victims who were still “halfway alive” or “convulsing” and “shoot them to kill” if they attempted to escape.

Kumpf was deported to Austria because it was the country from which he came when he entered the United States in 1956, she said.

Swoboda said with his U.S. citizenship revoked, Kumpf was now stateless and had no residence permit in Austria, which technically made him an illegal alien.

But since he could not be extradited to another country, he would be able to stay on. He would have to register his address.

Pass the Wiener schnitzel, please.

- Aggie

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Journalists Suck. [Updated]

Check out this headline

Israel claims woman hurt in rocket attack

JERUSALEM (CNN) — A woman was injured Saturday when a rocket landed in northern Israel, a spokesman for the Israeli police said.

The Israel Defense Forces fired artillery toward the source of the fire, an army spokesman said, but he could not say from where the rocket originated.

Officials said the rocket landed in the Western Galilee region of northwestern Israel, which borders Lebanon.

The Lebanese army said two rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel, but they failed to reach Israeli territory. According to the Lebanese army, the rockets landed east of Naqoura, a coastal town just north of the border with Israel.

Israel claims??? Israel does not have a history of lying about rocket attacks, so there is absolutely no reason to write it that way. The media just drips with bias. That must be what they mean when they talk about “professional ethics“.

Update: They double-suck. They could have published this photo, but chose not to:

rocket.jpg
Security officials Sat. removing the remains of a Katyusha rocket fired from Lebanon that struck northern Israel. (Yaron Kaminsky)

I suppose that is an alleged rocket? Huh? Are you listening CNN?
- Aggie

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Sleaze You Can Believe In

We’ve already read about Eric Holder’s problems at home; now we learn that he’s bringing the Chicago Way to D.C.:

Barack Obama’s Attorney General candidate Eric Holder hires two Senate staffers, still working on the public’s dime, to guide him through the Senate nomination process — yet we haven’t heard one word of objection about the clear conflict of interest from the GOP (non)-leadership.

Since when do current, sitting Senate staffers get to shepherd presidential nominees through the confirmation process? Where are the checks and balances on the ability of two top Senate aides to advise Holder at the same time they are expected to assist their bosses in providing independent assessments of their client’s qualifications?

Jennifer Rubin at PJM adds:

A Capitol Hill insider had this to say:

I can’t think of another example of a current Senate staffer facilitating a nominee’s confirmation. If the Senate is really conducting an independent review of the nominee, doesn’t this arrangement undermine it? Would you ever let a judge’s legal clerk act as the lawyer for a defendant? That’s why we have conflict of interest restrictions for lawyers.

Am I alone in detecting a sense of privilege among Team Obama? They invent an office (with its own logo), they think they can hand-pick their guy’s successor, they want to move into guest digs early, they requisition Senate staffers.

The one thing you can say with absolute certainty about the Office of the President of the United States is that if you don’t know humility when you take office, you will surely learn it, and probably sooner rather than later.

Obama’s pratfall from grace should be one of the most spectacular ever witnessed.

May he not have the luck of Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill, Jr.

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